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Today in Russian Business – May 18, 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin apparently plans to assert more control over the mining sector following the Raspadskaya disaster.  He has proposed giving safety watchdog Rostekhnadzor extensive powers, and increasing salaries to miners.  The effect the tragedy will have on coal exporting plans is discussed in BusinessWeek.  Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has apparently said that Russia’s already low inflation rate may continue to drop, and reach 3% as early as 2012, opening the door for economic modernization.  President Viktor Yanukovych has presaged that trade between Ukraine and Russia should be worth $35 billion this year; among their many deals the two countries have also made a banking agreement.  Charles Clover in the FT looks at one man’s mission to push Russia into the WTO.  President Medvedev hopes that a plan to construct five ski resorts in the North Caucasus by 2020 will rejuvenate the area’s economy.  The criminal charges of money laundering held against Igor Linshits, ex-owner of Neftyanoi Bank, who currently lives in exile, have been dropped